• What Exactly Happened to The Hub? Former Employee Chimes In for Adweek, Plus Some Extra Insight Into Hasbro's Current Plans

    We had some good times with The Hub when it was still truckin along last year. Everything from the horoscope ponies to their April Fools gags were great time wasters between episodes. The dismantling of the network came fast, with only a few months of warning before everything was shifted over to Discovery Family.

    So what exactly went wrong? There were apparently a few major issues with it.

    Head on down below the break for the full breakdown!

    From the very beginning, The Hub had some gargantuan expectations to fill. According to the Adweek article, Hasbro already felt like they had invested too much into the joint project with Discovery early on.  In a world that is rapidly migrating to the internet for their entertainment, a new network aimed at a demographic that is already struggling in some of the more established media companies out there was a challenge to say the least. Kids aren't tuning in nearly as much as they used to.

    Despite this, The Hub was still growing , and a former employee dropped the specifics:

    "Cable networks take time," explains the insider. "It was growing at a reasonable rate, but it was only making $9 million a year [before the sale]. … [Hasbro is] a toy company. They didn't know how to run a cable network, and Discovery was AWOL the entire time. They considered Hasbro first among equals because they'd paid so much for it."

    It's sounding like Hasbro was left to their own devices by the much more media experienced Discovery, due to how much money they invested into The Hub.

    Another issue was the actual ad revenue.  Since Hasbro is a competing toy company, both Mattel and Lego (the juggernauts in the industry) were unwilling to display their products on the channel. Not an ideal situation for any network looking to make the big bucks. I bet you guys remember that GAK GAK GAK thing. We saw it almost every single commercial break during some episodes of pony, and considering the ratings on FiM were some of the best on the channel, it's sort of a testament to who was buying adspace and how much competition there was for it.

    The final nail in the coffin was Discovery being much more interested in dealing with the OWN network at the time. Turns out Oprah Winfrey has a bit more pull. 

    These issues combined to see Hasbro pulling out when the chance of a buyout appeared, and we now have pony on the new Discovery Family instead. 

    The Future!

    I think we can safely assume Pony will find a home regardless of how well season five does on the new Discovery Family.  At Toy Fair last week, a new Transformers series was announced to air on Cartoon Network, so if we see anything change in the sixth season, it will be a shift over there. 

    With Allspark Studios appearing to pump out the movies for all of Hasbro's IP, and their new focus on scannable QR codes to play the soon to be released mobile game, we will probably see a continued push for the digital world. 

    At the end of the day, Hasbro's media side is primarily focused on selling their lucrative and well established merchandise business, so whatever gets them the most views is good in their book.

    (You can find Adweek's full article over here, covering some of their non-pony brands and licenses)

    Thanks to Mlpbronypony for the heads up!